Review of the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009: Part 4 - Packaging

About measurement

The National Measurement Institute (NMI), within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, is responsible for biological, chemical, legal, physical and trade measurement. NMI maintains Australia's units and standards of measurement and applies them through reference materials and reference techniques.

Second consultation

Part 4 predominantly relates to measurement marking on packaging and the Department aims to identify opportunities for reform through public consultation.

The second consultation for the Department's review of Part 4 of the National Trade Measurement Regulations 2009 will run from mid May 2017 to late June 2017. The consultation is framed by an options paper with three options. The preferred option recommends adopting a principles-based approach, such that regulations stipulate that the measurement mark has to be legible and prominent. Option 3 offers the benefits of simplifying the regulations, providing greater flexibility to industry, whilst maintaining the provision of product information to consumers.

First consultation

The department has consulted with the public through:

  • a discussion paper providing detail on the scope of the review and seeking feedback on Part 4; and
  • a streamlined online survey addressing issues specific to the measurement mark labelling.

Both consultations were open for comment until 18 December 2015. Submissions to this consultation that were not confidential have been published. A summary of the online survey has been published on the measurement mark consultation page.

Taking public feedback into consideration, the Department is now developing an options paper for consideration by the Government and will undertake any necessary Regulation Impact Statement process. If change is recommended, further public consultations will allow further input on the amendments proposed to the regulations.

Community preferences for the measurement mark

ORIMA research was commissioned by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to investigate consumer preferences for the measurement mark. The research, conducted during October and November 2015, sought to understand consumer responses to different formats, sizes and location of the measurement mark across a series of food and non-food products. View the findings from this piece of research.

Why is a review necessary?

The Australian Government is committed to a regulation reform agenda that will drive productivity and efficiency gains within the economy. A key feature of the agenda includes reducing the regulatory burden for individuals, businesses and the community through reducing red tape by at least $1 billion per year. This regulation reform agenda will provide savings to businesses so they can invest their limited time and resources elsewhere, such as growing their business, research and development or building skills.

There are two parliamentary repeal days every year to cut unnecessary regulation and streamline existing regulation. On Repeal Day on 18 March 2015, 73 pieces from the Industry portfolio were repealed. The Government’s vision is to repeal or amend costly and excessive regulations and introducing initiatives that reduce red and green tape. Fully implemented reforms will result in annual savings in reduced compliance costs for businesses, community organisations, families and individuals.

In 2014, NMI commenced a review of its regulations to identify where red tape can be cut without compromising on the objectives of the national trade measurement system. As part of the review process, NMI conducted a public consultation inviting stakeholders to make submissions, including comments and suggestions and how they impacted the stakeholder or their business. The public consultation closed on 5 October 2014.

As a result of this overall review, NMI has identified some areas that could benefit from further consideration for reform and stakeholder feedback. Part 4—Packaging is one area.

Contact

For more information on the Review of Part 4 – Packaging please contact packagingreview@industry.gov.au.

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